By Linda Marric @linda_marric
Jordan Peele’s Get Out is a smart, socially conscious, funny and genuinely terrifying horror movie. Made by Blumhouse, who were also responsible for the Insidious series, the film has been one of the most eagerly awaited genre movies of the year, on the strength of its trailer alone. Dealing with issues of race in the post-Obama era, Get Out cleverly pays homage to a whole host of films from Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (Stanley Kramer, 1967), The Stepford Wives (Bryan Forbes, 1975) to Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Daniel Kaluuya is Chris, a young black photographer who is invited by his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) for a weekend getaway to meet her parents. It isn’t until the last minute that he learns that she has neglected to inform her family that he is black. Upon meeting the parents and exchanging the initial pleasantries, Chris begins to suspect that behind the liberal facade exhibited by them, lurks an all together more sinister secret. As he is quizzed and probed by Rose’s faux-pas prone father (Bradley Whitford) and her protective hypnotist mother (Catherine Keener) Chris starts to wonder about the black people he encounters over the weekend and is alarmed by what he considers to be, a non-normative behaviour.
Comedian and first-time filmmaker Peele, cleverly shines a light on preconceived ideas about race and delves into the paranoia centring around race relations. Just like Romero and Carpenter before him, Peele uses horror to make a valid social commentary. He also relies heavily on his own comedy credentials to offer some brilliantly timed gags, most of which delivered by the excellent LilRel Howery as Chris’s best friend, savvy TSA agent Rod. It is left to Howery to say all the things everyone is thinking without explicitly saying. The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford delivers a chillingly unnerving performance as Rose’s father, while Catherine Keener’s brilliant turn as Rose’s mother adds to an air of menace and impending doom.
British actor Daniel Kaluuya continues his unstoppable ascension to the top with each role, despite recent comments made by Samuel L Jackson about black British actors “taking black American actors roles”, it is easy to see why Kaluuya keeps getting cast in these roles, his delivery is absolutely faultless and without even a hint of a British accent. Kaluuya, who cut his teeth on little known British TV shows such as the underrated The Fades, is without a doubt what adds some dramatic credentials to a film which could have easily gone down the “scare for scare’s sake” route.
Get Out is a ballsy and brave film, Jordan Peele delivers one of the best horror movies of the last decade. What is even more impressive is that Peele manages to do this without resorting to the usual pedestrian horror tropes we have come to expect in recent years. Instead, he chose to make a clever, funny and thought-provoking film which unveils the ugly truth beneath “post-race” America. A must see.
Get Out is on general release from Friday 17th March.